BEDFORD - Defense may win championships, but offense wins games.
Just ask the Bedford Bisons. Bedford (5-1) mustered more than 400 yards on the ground as it survived a shootout with Johnstown (2-4), 48-33, Friday night in a Laurel Highlands matchup at Bisons Stadium.
"We look for balance as far as getting different guys the ball and we had several guys have relatively good nights running the ball," Bedford coach Kevin Steele said of his rushing attack. "It makes us a little more difficult to stop because they can't just key in one opponent."
Johnstown took control early on as an Alex Montgomery pass intended for Kody Blevins was intercepted by Kareem Gibson and taken 72-yards to give the Trojans the early 7-0 lead.
The Bisons responded right away following a 31-yard run by Jeremiah Bingham, Blevins put the Bisons on the board with a 2-yard run to cut the deficit to one. Blevins led all rushers with 163 yards on nine carries and a touchdown. He credits his offensive line for the run game's success.
"We just figured everything out and line did the rest," he said.
August Cook would add a 35-yard run and Bingham scored from 10-yards out to put Bedford up 20-13 at the half.
"Johnstown has lots of athletes and they have a solid football and they came ready to play," Steele said. "We didn't start very quickly and kind of got a wakeup call."
The Bisons picked up where they left off on the first drive of the second half as Lucas Waugerman took the opening kickoff to the Trojan 49-yard line setting up a 15-yard pass from Montgomery to Zach Shaffer to put Bedford ahead 27-13.
Just as Johnstown was going to get the ball back, Bedford had other ideas.
Montgomery executed an onside kick which was recovered by Austin Sipes. Bedford added Bingham's second score of the night to take a 34-13 lead after three.
"When you have three guys you have to defend, it's really tough and you really have to be discipline," Johnstown coach Tony Penna Jr. said. "They're really balanced. It's almost like you have to pick your poison."
After Jayvon Braxton managed to cut the deficit to 14, the Trojans executed an onside kick of their own, but the Bison defense made a stop on fourth-and-goal.
Bedford would ultimately put the game away on the next drive going 98 yards powered by to 33-yard runs by Blevins. The Bisons finished the drive off with Bingham's third score for the game's final score.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Johnstown13 0 7 13-33
Bedford6 14 14 14-48
J-Gibson 72 interception return (Litvin kick), 7:12
B-Blevins 2 run (kick failed), 4:27
J-Robinson 19 pass from Updyke (kick failed), :26
B-Cook 35 run (Montgomery kick), 9:08
B-Bingham 10 run (Montgomery kick), 1:02
B-Shaffer 15 pass from Montgomery (Montgomery kick), 7:59
B-Bingham 5 run (Montgomery kick), 6:35
J-Braxton 27 run (Litvin kick), 2:24
B-Bingham 5 run (Montgomery kick), 7:56
J-Gibson 17 pass from Updyke (run failed), 5:26
B-Cook 42 run (Montgomery kick)
J-Gibson 43 pass from Updyke (Litvin kick), 2:51
RUSHING: Johnstown-Braxton 13-75, Updyke 6-(-2), White 2-5, Miller 3-11, Jones 2-0, Price 1-6. Bedford-Bingham 16-88, Blevins 9-163, Montgomery 11-89, Cook 4-84.
PASSING: Johnstown-Updyke 13-22-1-258. Bedford-Montgomery 6-12-2-111.
RECEIVING: Johnstown-Robinson 7-151, Gibson 4-73, Brandon 2-34. Bedford-Hickey 1-30, Cook 1-7, Shaffer 2-46, Blevins 2-28.
INTERCEPTIONS: Johnstown-Andrews, Gibson. Bedford-Downs.